SOUTH AFRICAN SAFARI
We are Jan and Renzo, the owners of BelSentiero, an upmarket villa Bed and Breakfast in Tuscany. However, we also love to travel and so usually do so in our low season, especially to South Africa and South America where it is warmer when it is cold up in the northern hemisphere and where we have family. Jan is originally South African / Dutch and Renzo is Venezuelean. Here in Tuscany every year we organise and host a number of Food & Wine Experience tours for our guests. So we have the experience and understand the logistics for organising amazing small group tour experiences. And for 2021 we have decided to take this experience and see if there is sufficient interest to organise an out-of-this-world South African Safari experience, on the assumption that given the covid situation this will be possible by then. This will include a visit to the Kruger National Park to see the wildlife and to Cape Town to taste the local wines and visit Robben Island where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned.
The thing to appreciate is that the typical African safari experience can cost tens of thousands of dollars. However, if you do like the locals do (and stay in one of the National Parks rather than private lodges), then it is possible to enjoy a similar experience at a fraction of the cost. To do so, means you require access to local knowledge and expertise, which we have in abundance. Jan lived in South Africa for many years, often visiting the places that will be included in this safari, his niece is a game ranger for the Elephants Alive conservation project near Kruger, and his folks ran a successful tourist accommodation business in Cape Town for many years. So what is proposed is an unbeatable combination of the best that South Africa has to offer the international traveler at an exceptional price. Accommodation will be a bit more simple, typically in bungalow styled cottages (called "rondavels") than what one would experience at a luxury (and very expensive!) game lodge, but none the less will still be very comfortable.
The proposed 10 day itinerary is as follows:
Day 1: Morning arrival at Johannesburg International airport. Drive straight through to Kruger National Park;
Day 2 - 5: Safari. Five nights in Kruger, staying at different safari camps. Different areas are dominated by different wildlife, so this way one has a better chance to see more. During the stay in Kruger we will have 2 early morning game drives with a park ranger. The rest of the time will be self driving with Jan as your guide. One evening at one of the camps we will have a traditional South African BBQ;
Day 6: Drive back to Johannesburg and catch a flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town. This is a travel day;
Day 7: Head into the wine-lands with a morning winery visit, then lunch at a winery, and then an afternoon winery visit;
Day 8: Head out to explore the coast. Along the way we stop off to visit the famous penguins at Bolders Beach, then Cape Point, lunch, and then in the afternoon we visit Klein Constantia, a famous winery close to Cape Town;
Day 9: Visit Table Mountain in the morning. In the afternoon free time at the city's waterfront for shopping/ sight-seeing.
Day 10: Last day - morning visit to Robben Island (where Nelson Mandela was imprisoned), followed by flight after lunch back to Johannesburg, and then evening flights back home.
The estimated price for the South African Safari is €2,500 per person sharing (approximately $2,875). This is subject to confirmation once South Africa's borders re-open to international travellers, flights to the country resume and costs can be confirmed. This estimate includes the following:
- Vehicle hire and transportation within South Africa to the various destinations;
- All accommodation;
- Two game drives in Kruger with ranger;
- BBQ in Kruger;
- Wine tastings;
- Flight from Johannesburg to Cape Town and back again;
- Entry fees for all the National Parks visited.
Not included are the following:
- International flights to and from South Africa;
- Travel insurance;
- Meals. Some accommodation will be on a bed and breakfast basis but not all. So assume all meals will be extra (other than BBQ), but South Africa is not expensive in this regard (about a third to half less than in Europe).
Provided that it is possible to travel again and safe to do so, it is proposed that this South African Safari of 10 days takes place in the first half of 2021. A minimum of 6 participants is required to make the tour viable at the indicated pricing.
To register your interest to participate please e-mail Jan at firstname.lastname@example.org.